Photo Source: Monica Almeida/The New York Times

The New York Times reports on new colorful outdoor benches being used in several Los Angeles neighborhoods to improve the street environment. These neighborhoods, comprised of low-income immigrant residents, have lacked basic street amenities for too long, especially at bus stops.

Central City Neighborhood Partners, a non-profit operating in the Central City and Westlake areas of LA, organized user surveys at numerous bus stops. Over 500 random respondents answered questions about comfort, transportation cost and overall customer service. The most requested amenity residents said they wanted was a bench.

Five different transportation entities in LA are responsible for bus stops, and they have limited inter-organizational relationships. For this reason, most bus stops in these neighborhoods lack benches, proper lighting and a shelter.

James Rojas from the Latino Urban Forum writes in Rethinking Bus Stops:

“Like train stations and airports, bus stops are the ‘welcome mats’ to the transit system and the communities they serve. The user is introduced to the transit system and the different communities and locations that the system serves through the bus stop.”

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